Tech Says Hans Niemann’s $100M Lawsuit is a ‘Public Relations Stunt’ in Motion to Dismiss

A new motion filed by on Friday requests that Niemann’s allegations of conspiracy and defamation be dismissed entirely. Says Hans Niemann’s $100M Lawsuit is a ‘Public Relations Stunt’ in Motion to Dismiss
Hans Neimann. Image: 
 / Contributor via Getty Images

In the latest twist of the chess cheating scandal saga, has filed a motion to dismiss Hans Niemann’s lawsuit against it, claiming that his allegations of a conspiracy between the online chess company and other players to falsely portray him as a cheater were “plainly without merit” and could only be conceived as a publicity stunt.

“Plaintiff Hans Niemann is a talented chess player,”’s motion, filed on Friday, reads. “He is also an admitted cheater, having cheated in several online games played on Defendant, LLC’s (“’s”) website. In order to preserve the integrity of its service, privately closed his account, withdrew his invitation to its Global Championship tournament, and gave him an opportunity to explain his conduct.”


“He did not,” it continues. “Rather, he opted to make public’s private actions and filed this lawsuit. He then openly pronounced that his 'lawsuit speaks for itself.' He is right. It is so plainly without merit that it could have been brought only as a public relations stunt. The Court should not allow it to move forward.”

Niemann's lawsuit, filed in October, alleged “collusion” between and grandmaster Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen, currently the highest-ranked chess player in history, according to’s motion, had played the 19-year-old Niemann in a chess tournament and lost, which shocked the chess community. He then publicly accused Niemann of cheating. simultaneously banned Niemann from the platform and released a 72-page-long report of evidence that he had likely previously cheated in more than 100 online games. It also shared emails with Motherboard showing that one of Niemann's coaches had admitted to cheating, which is noted in the lawsuit. Niemann has also admitted to cheating in games on in the past. 


Niemann’s lawsuit also took aim at executive Danny Rensch and top player Hikaru Nakamura for their roles in spreading cheating allegations. He said the drama had “destroyed [his] life,” and sought $100 million in damages. 

In his lawsuit, Niemann filed four claims against Carlsen and, the first of which was an antitrust conspiracy. He alleged that Carlsen and—the latter acquired Carlsen's chess company for $82.9 million this year—were purposefully conspiring together against him. wrote in the new motion that Niemann’s claim of collusion “suffers from multiple, incurable defects” due to lack of evidence.

Niemann also alleged defamation, tortious interference, and civil conspiracy. Their actions, he claimed, had publicly harmed his reputation as well as interfered with his business relationships, since another famous chess player had refused to play him, and a tournament had “halt[ed] negotiations” with him before he could compete in it.’s motion claims Niemann’s evidence is “insufficient” multiple times throughout its rebuttal, and says his allegations are “meritless on their face.” His claim of defamation, it reads, is baseless, because he is a public figure, and allegedly did not adequately prove that acted with actual malice. It notes that the cheating scandal had been covered by multiple national publications, including Motherboard, and claims that Niemann had responded to that coverage. 

“He has thus plainly injected himself into the controversy,” the motion reads. “In fact, Niemann’s public responses only fanned the flames of the controversy and increased its publicity.” filed an additional motion on Friday to request that the allegations against Rensch, its Chief Chess Officer, be dismissed. 

“This lawsuit is a clear publicity stunt,” the motion reads. “Niemann’s decision to name Rensch—one of’s highest profile executives—as a defendant is simply an attempt to heighten even more the profile of the lawsuit. Requiring Rensch, who has no alleged connection to Missouri, to defend a baseless lawsuit here does not 'comport with the limits imposed by federal due process.'” Niemann’s lawsuit, as well as’s motions, were filed in the Eastern District Court of Missouri, and the motion notes that Rensch is a resident of Utah.

“As our motions make clear, believes Hans Niemann’s claims lack any merit,” the website’s defense counsel said in a statement. “We will present our arguments to the Court so can get back to focusing on growing the game of chess for fans around the world.”

Niemann has not yet publicly said anything about the lawsuit. His legal team could not be immediately reached for comment.

Update: This article was updated with comment from’s legal counsel.